The civil rights watchdog AfriForum delivered letters to seven police stations in the East Rand on 6 November 2019 to inform the SAPS once again of the manner in which they should react to landgrabs. These letters were delivered together with the directive that the National Commissioner had sent to all police stations earlier this year.
The action forms part of a project that AfriForum launched to visit as many police stations as possible in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga to disseminate guides that clearly explain the process that police should follow in the event of landgrabs.
Letters were delivered to the following police stations: Alberton, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germiston and Springs.
Landgrabs in the northern region have increased significantly since the beginning of 2019, with about 45 cases in Gauteng, five in Limpopo and nine in Mpumalanga.
“It seems that the SAPS often refuse to comply with their constitutional duties and responsibilities – especially regarding landgrabs. This results in owners of land on which landgrabs occur having to dig deep into their own pockets to approach the court and halt the landgrab,” says Marié Naudé, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the East Rand.
Despite a directive and national instruction on reacting to landgrabs that the SAPS sent to all police stations, some police stations still do not comply with the directive and instruction. AfriForum has to step in regularly and apply pressure on a national level to force the SAPS into action.
“AfriForum will continue to act as civil watchdog and pressurise government into fulfilling its constitutional duties. We will act decisively against police stations that do not discharge their duties,” says Hillel Coetzer, AfriForum’s head of safety for the northern region.
Join your local AfriForum neighbourhood watch: SMS your name to 45353 (R1).